# Definition:Characteristic of Ring/Definition 3

## Definition

Let $\struct {R, +, \circ}$ be a ring with unity whose zero is $0_R$ and whose unity is $1_R$.

The characteristic of $R$, denoted $\Char R$, is defined as follows.

Let $p$ be the order of $1_R$ in the additive group $\struct {R, +}$ of $\struct {R, +, \circ}$.

If $p \in \Z_{>0}$, then $\Char R := p$.

If $1_R$ is of infinite order, then $\Char R := 0$.